Rob Naysmith shares more of his angling expertise in part three of Sport Fishing – An Addiction. In this edition Rob explains the functions, variety and different techniques regarding your fishing tackle and accessories.
Terminal Tackle & Accessories Terminal tackle is the term used for all the hooks, swivels, sinkers, traces, etc., that complete your fishing rig. It is important to understand the different qualities and uses of your terminal tackle and accessories as this will ensure more strikes, successful hook-ups and increase your chances of landing that prize fish.
Hooks come in an array of sizes, shapes, types and makes, with the ultimate goal of effectively catching and holding the fish on the end of your line. There are four basic hook types: the common single hook with one point; the double hook which has two points; the treble hook with three points; and the circle hook. Single hooks can be used in all applications while double hooks are used on lures. Trebles are more commonly used on spinners and plugs but are also very effective in troll or drift baits.
The first three hooks are referred to as ‘J’ hooks and are the most widely used. Circle hooks, best used in baits, require a different mind-set in that the angler does not strike a fish but allows the fish to hook itself. The length of the shank is determined as being regular, short or long, and the selection of the length is important. A long shank hook is designed to take the teeth of the fish on the shank, however, they can inhibit the free movement of the bait. Short shank hooks allow free movement of the bait and are ideal for use when drifting baits or livebait. Standard shank hooks are most common and the best for all-round fishing.
Sizes are determined according to the width of the hook’s gap. They range in increasing size from the tiny number 48 through to a 1 and then from 1/0 up to 16/0 and larger. The most common sizes used are No. 4 to 8/0. For economical reasons it is best to select alternate size hooks, say no. 4, no. 2, 1/0, 3/0, 5/0, etc.
Size selection depends on the mouth size of your fish and the breaking strain of your line. When in doubt, remember, it is easier to catch a big fish with a small hook than a small fish with a big hook. A safe rule of thumb when using light line is to use a maximum of two hook sizes up on your line’s breaking strain, e.g. 2 kg breaking strain line – 4/0 hook; 6 kg line – an 8/0 hook, etc. The bend of the eye or offset of the hook serves the purpose of determining the direction of travel of the point on hook-up. A forward bent eye will help the hook to curve around the jaw while an offset point will drive the hook sideways. The most powerful hook-up is when the fishing line is in a straight line with the point.
The shape of the hook point is either round or edged. A point with a sharp knife-edge is designed to continually cut and bore during the fight and are more suitable for fish with hard bony mouths. The down side of this edge is that the hook makes an increasingly larger hole sometimes allowing the hook to eventually fall out. Most gamefish have a strong, bony jaw and it is preferable to have a hook to go round the jawbone, or at least burrow into it. With the exception of the chemically or laser sharpened hooks, no hook is sharp enough when taken out of the box. A hook must be sharp enough to stick into and scratch your fingernail. A good quality, fine triangular file or two round files welded together are ideal for the job. On a round point hook any edges created during sharpening must be filed down. Sharp hooks definitely catch more fish so regularly check for sharpness…